Feminism-what is it? Now, I know what most of you are all thinking. I know what a feminist is, they are tomboys, with short hair who hate men. Or maybe you are thinking, it’s those extremists that parade shirtless in the streets, marching for their right to “free the nipple.” Or maybe you believe that they are a group of individuals, purely fighting for their rights, their right to vote, to have equal access to education, to not be discriminated based on their sex in the workplace and to be able to walk the streets at night without being harrased.
There are so many different definitions of what people believe is feminism. Back in the 1900’s we had WKKK (Women of the Ku Klux Klan) who yes, were racists and anti-catholics, however did fight for white protestant women’s right to be seen as equal to their white, protestant male counterparts. Would they be considered feminists? Or what about the concept of White Feminism? They fight for women’s equal right while at the same time oprressing non-white women, but are they still feminists? Or what about the organization one million moms, who fight to have their voices heard and to end the exploitation of children by the media, yet boycotted Toy Story 3 due to a scene that hinted support for the LGBTQ+ community. Feminists or homophobes? I could go on because there are so many different definitions but arguably so, they are feminists. I say this with care because they are not the feminist definitions that I agree with but it cannot be denied that down to the core, they are fighting for their right as women and to not be discriminated based on gender.
Now let’s take a road down memory lane. Back in my senior year of high school, I was persuaded into becoming the co-president of the feminist society. Even though I already considered myself a feminist, I had never seen myself as someone who could lead a society. Being a relative timid person, this was a huge step, but looking back it was a great experience and I learned a lot from it. There was one thing in particular that I will never forget. During the fair in which I was doing my best to recruit members to join the society, I noticed that about 90% of the people who came to visit our booth, were female. The other 10% were boys, the majority who laughed and walked away. I couldn’t understand why. Were the boys against equality? Then this one 9th grade boy came up to me and asked the question I will never forget. “Do you guys like hate on men?” …I think I could have exploded. So, let’s make one thing clear once and for all. No, feminists DO NOT hate men. We want to be seen equal to men. We want to be treated equally and to be seen as humans. Not as objects or pieces of meat who can be harassed, subordinated and ignored. We want to be treated with respect and dignity. That is what feminism is all about. It’s not about hating on men and overpowering them but it’s this fight to prove that we are worthy and that it is our human right to be treated as humans.
People’s definitions of what feminism entails will differ because we all have different goals of what we want. Me for example, I want to show that I can be a feminist without having to make riots, without having to hide my body and that my definition of feminism is defined by however I want to define it. I consider myself, a lisptick feminist. I only recently came across this term through a friend who called me that and it perfectly describes me. I am a fashion victim and a makeup addict who happens to be a feminist. I was shocked when my own father once said “ how can you be a feminist if you like makeup and clothes?”( sorry dad, throwing you under the bus here but I know that in your heart your a feminist too). So yes, I am girly and happen to conform to my genders stereotype in many ways, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am a feminist and that I fight for the rights for girls to have equal oppertunities so that they can grow up feeling like they can be whoever they want to be and can achieve their dreams. My definition of feminism doesn’t just end with gender though.I also believe that as a feminist I don’t just believe in equality when it comes to gender, but also in equality when it comes to race, religion, sexual orientation and so forth. As a lipstick feminist, I believe in equality for all human beings.
I am not afraid to call myself a feminist because I believe that I shouldn’t be judged about who I am, purely based on the gender that was assigned to me. So what is your definition of feminism? Comment down below or use the hashtag #lapetiteboss with your definition of feminism.